Microsoft and Apple Seek Exemption from EU’s New Tech Regulations for Bing and iMessage


In an effort to avoid the stringent regulations imposed by the European Union’s (EU) new Digital Markets Act (DMA), Microsoft and Apple have expressed their desire to have Bing and iMessage, respectively, removed from the “gatekeepers” list. Both tech giants contend that their services do not meet the criteria for subjecting them to the DMA, which aims to promote fair competition and limit the dominance of Big Tech companies.

The DMA was officially passed into law by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union in September 2022 and became effective on May 2, 2023. This landmark legislation is primarily directed at the largest digital platforms operating within the EU, collectively referred to as “gatekeepers.” These platforms encompass online search engines, app stores, and messenger services. In the event of non-compliance, these gatekeeper companies could face penalties, including fines amounting to up to 10% of their global revenue.

As of now, Microsoft and Apple are included in the list of companies classified as gatekeepers, alongside Amazon, Alphabet (Google), Meta (Facebook), ByteDance (TikTok), and Samsung. However, the EU Commission has yet to determine which specific services offered by these companies should fall under the regulatory purview of the DMA.

Both Microsoft and Apple have argued that certain aspects of their services, namely Bing and iMessage, should not be categorized as gatekeepers under the DMA. They maintain that these particular services are not of a scale that warrants stringent regulatory oversight. The tech giants contend that the DMA was primarily designed to address the issues associated with larger, more dominant platforms, and should not apply to their comparatively smaller services.

While the EU Commission has not yet made a final determination regarding the inclusion of Bing and iMessage in the DMA’s regulatory scope, this move by Microsoft and Apple underscores the significant impact and implications of the new legislation on the tech industry.

The Digital Markets Act represents a pivotal step by the EU in its ongoing efforts to address concerns related to competition, consumer choice, and fair market practices within the digital sphere. By designating certain companies as gatekeepers and subjecting them to stricter regulations, the EU aims to create a more level playing field for smaller competitors and reduce the dominance of a few major players in the digital market.

In response to the DMA, several tech giants have expressed reservations and concerns about the potential impact on their business operations. These companies argue that the legislation could stifle innovation and create uncertainty in the tech industry. They also contend that the fines associated with non-compliance are excessively punitive.

The debate over the inclusion of Bing and iMessage in the DMA’s regulatory framework highlights the complexity of regulating the ever-evolving digital landscape. As technology companies continue to expand their services and offerings, determining the appropriate level of oversight and regulation becomes a delicate balancing act for regulators like the EU Commission.

While Microsoft and Apple seek exemptions for Bing and iMessage, the final decision rests with the EU Commission, which will need to carefully weigh the arguments presented by these tech giants against the overarching goals of the DMA. The outcome of this deliberation could have far-reaching implications not only for these companies but also for the broader digital ecosystem and the competitive landscape within the EU’s digital market.

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